Anastasiou: “We must play with concentration for the whole match”
The two respective head coaches, Giannis Anastasiou and Aleksandar Vukovic, spoke to the media ahead of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie between Atromitos and Legia Warsaw in Poland.
In the second qualifying round, Atromitos impressed in their 5:3 aggregate victory against FC DAC Dunajska Streda, but Legia Warsaw will pose a completely different challenge. The experienced Poles, who compete in continental competitions every year, are difficult to beat and Atromitos will be hoping to take something back to Greece from Warsaw.
Atromitos manager Giannis Anastasiou shared his expectations in the press-conference:
Opinion on Warsaw as a city: “It’s a great city with a very good stadium and nice weather.”
Departure of Efthymis Koulouris this summer: “Yes, Efthymis left, but we signed Apostolos Vellios as a replacement. We hope that Apostolos will score the goals we need.”
Thoughts on Legia Warsaw: “European matches are always interesting. It’s difficult for all teams at this stage of the season. At this moment in time, Legia have the advantage because they have played in more official matches, and we must control the tempo of the game and win the individual battles.”
Difficulty of playing Legia: “In the previous stage of the competition, it was very important for us to take the next step. These are the matches which give you that special motivation, especially when playing at arenas like this one with such a great atmosphere. Our players have to enjoy the game, and with determination, we can advance further. You have to be fully concentrated for the entire 90 minutes against Legia.”
Comparisons between Legia and Dunajska Streda: “Dunajska like to play aggressive football, while Legia are more balanced. They have experienced players and plenty of history, and they played in the UEFA Champions League two years ago. The Polish championship is a strong league too. We must take advantage of the opportunities which come our way while making it difficult for Legia to create openings.”
Legia Warsaw boss Aleksandar Vukovic is expecting a tough challenge against Atromitos:
Criticism after scraping past KuPS Kuopio: “You’re right, I have faced criticism. While we managed to qualify for the next stage of the tournament, we have a desire to play better. For my part, the main thing is that we are progressing in the Europa League, because our main goal is to win.”
Difficulty of playing Atromitos: “Atromitos are stronger than Spartak Trnava, Dudelange and Sheriff Tiraspol, clubs which all defeated us. However, this time, we want things to be different. The level of Atromitos is close to ours and we have to keep this in mind.”
Large squad: “Today, I met with Sandro Kulenovic, and he will go to the hotel with us ahead of the match against Atromitos. William Remy, Vamara Sanogo and Kacper Kostorz are also with us now. Ivan Obradovic isn’t ready to play yet.”